Monday, 25 March 2013

The 100th anniversary of the death of Colonel Garnet Wolseley

Left ca. 1873 (Source: The Cameronians)
Right ca. 1884 (Source: Library and Archives Canada)

Today (March 25) is the 100th anniversary of the death of Colonel Garnet Wolseley. Dashing, adventurous, not to mention a sound administrator and tactician, he was arguably the world's most famous soldier of his day.

Born in Dublin in 1833  to a British military family, Wolseley enlisted in 1851 as Britain was entering its heyday as a colonial power. Much of his work involved putting down pesky locals on behalf of the Crown. Within a dozen years he had served in Burma, the Crimea, India and China which cost him an eye and left him with a severely injured leg.

 Plan of Route Followed by Red River Expeditionary Force From Lake Superior to Fort Garry During the Summer of 1870 (1871)

Wolseley was posted to Canada in 1862 to train the army. Soon after, he and his men were tested during the Fenian Raids. In 1870 he headed the Red River Expedition which brought him and more than 1,000 over men 1,200 miles to quell the Riel uprising.

From Canada, it was on to campaigns in Africa and Egypt. In 1895 he became the Commander of the British Military. When he died in 1913 six thousand soldiers made up his funeral escort.

 Wolseley stop sign

He is, of course, commemorated in Winnipeg by Wolseley Avenue and Wolseley School.

- Wolselely, Garnet Joseph Dictionary of Canadian Biography
- Lord Wolseley's Canadian Career Brandon Sun (1913)
- View the 1870 Wolseley Expedition Route Using Google Earth Manitoba Historical Society
- Rough times, 1870-1920: A souvenir of the 50th anniversary of the Red River expedition Peel
- Getting There Was the Challenge! The Red River Expedition of 1870 Campbell
- The Red River Expedition (a collection of first hand accounts) University of Alberta
- A Memoir of Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet J. Wolseley (1878) openlibrary.org

1 comment:

Mike said...

More than just the school and the street, there's a whole huge neighbourhood named after him. And a very funky, eclectic, hip neighbourhood it is.